Guide to the Photographic Archives

The Photographic Archives provides a secure, controlled environment for the Department’s photographic images, both historical and contemporary. Consisting of prints, negatives, glass plates, lantern slides, color slides, "born digital" images, and supplementary research files, the collections continue to grow and assist staff in planning restorations, creating interpretive programs, and documenting concessions and visitor activities. In addition, the Photographic Archives serves as a valuable information resource for students and scholars, as well as the casual interested user. The Photographic Archives maintains a dynamic acquisition program, adding to its contemporary holdings through the original work of a full time staff photographer, and adding to its historical holdings by accepting and housing images previously held in park units and by individuals.  The finding aid, the Guide to the California State Parks Photographic Archives (© 2007, California State Parks.) is available here in PDF format to assist researchers. 

The Photographic Archives staff is currently involved in a large-scale facility move and consolidation project.  Once the facility move is complete and we have restored full operational functionality, we shall begin the process of updating our finding aid.  

As of March 2013, approximately 105,000 images have been cataloged as part of the Department’s ongoing conservation efforts. Images exist in both compressed (JPEG) and uncompressed (TIFF) formats and, except for minor contrast and brightness modifications, have received no cosmetic alterations. Images are cataloged using The Museum System (or TMS), the artifact cataloging software currently utilized by the Department statewide. 
INTRODUCTION SECTION 
Introduction to Photographic Archives collection of images, history, and the Title Page and Table of Contents Page 

PARK INDEX
The Park Index lists the current official form of the park name. Former, variant, and proper names are listed alphabetically, and refer the user to the proper name of the park. Internal classified units within parks, as well as unclassified significant structures and areas, are listed alphabetically and refer the user to the larger unit.

SUBJECT INDEX
The Subject Index integrates the most commonly requested materials under subject headings originally created by Department staff. Subject terms such as "Erosion" and "Equestrian Trails" will lead the user to images regardless of which specific unit they exist in.

AERIAL INDEX
The Aerial Index lists the large collection of aerial slides, arranged geographically from north to south within each district under the 2000 District organizational structure. The order of the districts is also geographical, beginning in the interior, north to south, then coastal, finally low desert, and then the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation districts.

FUNGI AND PLANT INDEX
The Plant Index is arranged "dictionary" style, integrating Latin and common names.

ANIMAL INDEX
The Animal Index reflects the taxonomical physical arrangement of the slides and includes a common name guide.

SONG INDEX
The Song Index listing is arranged alphabetically, and assists users in finding common campfire songs for interpretive programs. The number of slides required per song is noted next to the title.

Contact Information:
California State Parks
Photographic Archives
4940 Lang Avenue
McClellan, CA 95652

TEL:  916-263-0997
TEL:  916-263-1001
TEL:  916-263-1004
FAX:  916-263-1007

Visits by appointment only.  Please contact our staff to schedule a visit.  Visits can be scheduled between the hours of:

8:30 AM to 4:00 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays

11:30 AM to 4:00 PM on Wednesdays